Feeds

New flexible lens works like the one in your eye - and could replace it

Smaller and simpler focusing and zooming in future cams

Top three mobile application threats

Scientists have created an artificial eye lens out of 800,000 layers of plastic that could revolutionise eye implants and aerial surveillance.

Based on research from 2008 published in journal Optics Express, the new plastic eye closely copies the structure of the human eye and other natural materials including tendons and butterfly wings.

This shows fabricated lens images (a and d) and measured geometry surface profiles (b/c and e/f) of the aspheric anterior and posterior bio-inspired human eye GRIN lenses, credit Optic Express

Polymer lens showing off its capabilities

Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, working with spin-off lab PolymerPlus, created the lens by stacking up layers of laminated plastic. Weighing a tenth of a traditional lens, the polymer version is up to three times more powerful and, crucially, had the capability to be flexible enough to incrementally change its refraction of light.

The new polymer lens can refract light thousands of different ways because each layer has its own refractive index. This multilayer lens design is called gradient refractive index optics, or GRIN optics. That contrasts to traditional lenses that have a single surface and a single refractive index.

This gradated refraction is much more similar to what takes place in the human eye.

The technique that allowed researchers to layer plastic so finely is called multilayer-film coextrusion: a 4,000-layer film is coextruded, and then 200 layers of film are stacked to create an 800,000-nanolayer sheet.

The stacking technique also affords much greater control for engineers over the overall refractive capabilities of the lens.

Michael Ponting, polymer scientist and president of PolymerPlus said they had been inspired by butterflies as well as human eyes:

Applying naturally occurring material architectures, similar to those found in the layers of butterfly wing scales, human tendons, and even in the human eye, to multilayered plastic systems has enabled discoveries and products with enhanced mechanical strength, novel reflective properties, and optics with enhanced power.

Applications of the new lens include lens implants for people with defective or diseased lens and much improved images in areas like aerial surveillance or medical cameras. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.